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I think so. People say it should be lime green. What's the pH of the water you use going into the tank. What's the KH of the tank water. What's the bubble count on the CO2. How bright are your lights. I shouldn't be answering this. I'm having a hard time getting mine to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think so. People say it should be lime green. What's the pH of the water you use going into the tank. What's the KH of the tank water. What's the bubble count on the CO2. How bright are your lights. I shouldn't be answering this. I'm having a hard time getting mine to work.
I don't have all those values off the top of my head, other than a KH of 5. I can check tomorrow-ish. How does one determine how bright their lights are? I have a single T5HO, and I can adjust its height so it's closer or farther away from the tank surface (thus making the light more or less intense).
 

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There's something called a PAR meter but they're $400. You can rent them though. There is also a cell phone hack. Something about using a Lux meter and dividing by 80. I don't think you have to put your cell phone in the tank. The drop checker looks like it's indicating a pH between 6.8 and 6.9. It looks too light to be pH 7.0. I think your CO2 is somewhere between 18.9 and 23.8 ppm. I used a pH KH CO2 chart I googled to estimate this. That's good but people push it harder than that. Your fish can take like 30 ppm. But why push it and take a chance of hurting them by going too much over. Personally, I haven't found the sweet spot when it comes to CO2.
 

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There's something called a PAR meter but they're $400. You can rent them though. There is also a cell phone hack. Something about using a Lux meter and dividing by 80. I don't think you have to put your cell phone in the tank. The drop checker looks like it's indicating a pH between 6.8 and 6.9. It looks too light to be pH 7.0. I think your CO2 is somewhere between 18.9 and 23.8 ppm. I used a pH KH CO2 chart I googled to estimate this. That's good but people push it harder than that. Your fish can take like 30 ppm. But why push it and take a chance of hurting them by going too much over. Personally, I haven't found the sweet spot when it comes to CO2.
Thanks. I tested my pH this morning before the CO2 went on and again several hours later. Before the CO2 went on my pH was between 7.4 and 7.6; in the afternoon it was 6.8. My KH seems to be somewhere between 4 and 5, suggesting, very close to what you said, that I am somewhere between 19 and 23 ppm! I am happy to leave it at that, I think.
 

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Yea, you can run a Maserati tank (30+ ppm) or you can run a Honda or Ford tank (18.9 - 23.8 ppm). A Honda or Ford will get you to work but a Maserati will get you there faster and funner. I like slow growth because I don't like having to prune every two to three weeks. If you want to go really slow growth you can go low tech. Maseratis are really really cool, as long as you don't hurt your fish. Is this anology holding up? The greater your water volume, the better your system's stabilty. So if I were to go high performance (and believe me, I want to), I would go high volume. Like 75 gallons or greater.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea, you can run a Maserati tank (30+ ppm) or you can run a Honda or Ford tank (18.9 - 23.8 ppm). A Honda or Ford will get you to work but a Maserati will get you there faster and funner. I like slow growth because I don't like having to prune every two to three weeks. If you want to go really slow growth you can go low tech. Maseratis are really really cool, as long as you don't hurt your fish. Is this anology holding up? The greater your water volume, the better your system's stabilty. So if I were to go high performance (and believe me, I want to), I would go high volume. Like 75 gallons or greater.
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Makes sense. I only have a 20-long, but I'd like to be in a place someday where I can have a larger aquarium. I think I could increase the CO2 concentration in my current aquarium if I wanted to, but I'm not sure it's necessary or worthwhile.

I don't really understand all that business with PAR, but I'd like to learn more about it. I am curious whether I would find any advantage in increasing my lighting. My setup is a bit unusual in that I use a four-foot growlight that extends beyond the length of the tank, and I grow terrestrial plants under it as well. (See photo.) The lighting fixture holds a single T5HO, and I can adjust how close it is to the surface of the tank. I just moved it to about 6 inches from the surface; it was closer to 8 inches before.

I do not believe that this qualifies as a high-light setup, nor do I believe that this qualifies as a low-light setup, although these are just guesses on my part.

I'd like to keep the growlight setup, but I could replace the one-T5HO fixture with a two-T5HO fixture easily enough. But I'm not sure it would be worth it/make a difference to my plants (which are growing fine, although I'm not getting all of the red colors I've seen from higher-light systems). I also don't want to stress out my fish with too much light.
 

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